WHY are most Americans and their representatives, including such progressives as Bernie Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris not making the issues of forever war a priority of their foreign, domestic, and economic policy? What can we do about it?
The US military is the elephant in the room. It is relatively invisible even among progressives, who are preoccupied with so many other concerns, seemingly different and more immediate yet inextricably entwined within the Pentagon's far-reaching tentacles.
Missing is any talk about:
- the vast and unaccountable military budget, swallowing resources so desperately needed domestically throughout our society
- the devastating impact of endless racist US (and proxy) wars around the globe (and their racist, militarist impact here at home)
- the ubiquitous horror and global reach of weaponized US drone warfare
- the increasing threat of Armageddon posed by the needless and massively costly maintenance and buildup of the US nuclear arsenal
- the dangerous US role as the world's number one weapons supplier, fueling conflict from Israel to Saudi Arabia
- the vast reach of US military bases, threatening nations throughout the world
What is the terrible cost of this dark shadow that has blinded, bewildered or been hidden from us and our best leaders?
About half the discretionary budget of the U.S. is dedicated to the military, funding bases, building and maintaining weapons, paying big bucks to contractors and, finally, supporting the troops.
And another significant amount is spent via the energy sector for Nuclear Weapons development. And the CIA has its own funding which is double dark - hidden completely. Somebody also pays for IDF Training in counter-terrorism for our police.
What if we could recover even half of the military budget and all of the nuclear budget? There would be enough:
Money for Education, such as free higher education for all
Money for Healthcare, such as Medicare for All
Money for free quality Childcare
Money to update roads OR for a high speed railway as in China
Money to invest in solar wind technology for every home regardless of income.
Money for cleaning up toxic waste
If we weren't training a significant military force to perceive black and brown people as targets rather than humans, would that affect the way racism, with its growing white supremacy and police brutality, operates at home?
If we weren't constantly goaded into a state of fear of any nations whose culture and political processes are different from our own, would we need to spend all that money keeping military garrisons in their countries?
If we didn't subscribe to an exceptionalist "overmatch" strategy of global military superiority over all other countries - now replacing Cold War and "war on terror" rationales as the Pentagon's latest rationale for endless war and military spending - how might we instead coexist with other nations?
These are some questions we - PA&E members and U.S. citizens and elected leaders - need at last to recognize as urgent priorities.
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